Find Your Family in Bloomington!

Two students hugging

I’m assuming almost everyone who gets an acceptance letter from college will immediately envision themselves out of their parents’ sight and FREE. Sad story, though. That sense of freedom does not last long, especially during final exams week and when you are sick of all the junk foods in your dorm room. You might feel like you want to go back to your house, sit on a comfy couch, and eat your mom’s homemade foods.

Toy story meme

As an international student, I lived with a host family with SIX kids last year in high school. It was quite a change when I first came to IU. It was no longer hectic in my room after I came back from classes. Most importantly, I didn’t get to explore Bloomington. With a little bit of exaggeration, I felt as if IU was Bloomington.

A family

A few weeks after I arrived on campus, I decided to find my own host family in Bloomington! I applied to a host family program that I found at one of the booths from a random event at Wells library. YES! GO TO EVERY SINGLE EVENT THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING THAT YOU LIKE!

Luckily, I got to meet the sweetest woman in Bloomington, Becky Hrisomalos. The program found my host based on my interest and personality that I put on the application. Sharing a great love of musicals, we have become best friends when we first met each other. Ever since then, Becky and I have had a host grandmother-granddaughter relationship. We meet every weekend and have lunch together. She took me to Lake Monroe once and showed me around. I never knew there was such a pretty place like that in Blomington.

She sometimes invites me for family dinner, since a lot of her family lives in Bloomington. Talking to some of her granddaughters who also go to IU makes me feel like I have found siblings on campus. This weekend, we went to watch the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”. After the play, she invited me to the cast party that she hosted at her house. I had a chance to talk to the director, who was nominated for a Tony Award.

Thanks to Becky, I am able to get to know more of the pretty side of Bloomington and gain an even deeper knowledge about the events that are happening on campus.
If you feel like you need a family in Bloomington, do not hesitate. I am sure you can find a lovely family as I did — but probably not the “best” one, since I have the best person in town!

Vanessa Kim
Vanessa Kim

Business major, class of 2020

Vanessa Kim is a freshman planning to major in economic consulting and minor in healthcare management.

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